What happens when your pet has surgery?

Before Pet Surgery

We have food and water restrictions for your pet before surgery.

  • Do not give your pet any food after 6 p.m. the night before surgery.
  • No water after 10 p.m.
  • Give nothing the morning of surgery.
  • Please bring your pet to us by 7:30 a.m. the day of surgery.

At that time you will meet with one of our certified veterinary technicians who will go over the events of the day and answer any questions you

may have. From there we will run a pre-surgical blood panel, perform a head-to-tail physical and an EKG.  These steps let us know she is healthy enough inside and out to undergo surgery.

When she has the medical “all clear”, we will then sedate her.  Once sedated, the next phase of surgery starts in our sterile surgical suite.

During Pet Surgery

The doctors prepare for surgery much like you would see in the human field in terms of scrubbing their hands/arms, using sterile gowns, gloves, masks, caps and equipment each time.  The area for incision is shaved and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.  We use sterile drape and sterile instruments from an autoclave for each surgery.

Your pet is connected to electronic monitoring for heart rate, breathing, oxygen levels and temperature the entire time she is under anesthesia.  Our doctors are assisted by a certified veterinary technician who is able to be a second set of eyes, ears and hands for the doctor.  One of their jobs is to monitor your pet during the entire procedure.

One of the safest things we use on your pet is the anesthetic, Sevoflurane.  Sevo is also used in the human field for surgeries.  In fact, when one of our staff member’s son had open heart surgery at 2 years of age, his doctors used Sevofluorane.   The reason we use this for your pet is the quick recovery time when the gas is turned off.   In the unusual event there is a problem, we can stop the procedure keeping your pet safe.

After Pet Surgery

After we are done, your pet is kept warm with blankets or placed in our incubator for post-op recovery.  We have a separate area of the hospital for recovering surgical patients. It is quiet other than a radio softly playing music.  Your pet will be checked on frequently by the doctor and the technician.

Depending on the procedure, we may have your pet stay overnight.  When you pick up your pet, our staff will cover any at home care instructions including any medications sent home.  We often send home an antibiotic as a precaution against infection and pain medication depending on the procedure.

Approximately 10-14 days after the surgery, you can return to have the stitches removed.